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  Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Clementina Cantoni has been freed nearly a month after being taken hostage in Afghanistan
Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni has been freed nearly a month after being taken hostage in Afghanistan, the Afghan interior ministry has said. "She has just been released," said a ministry spokesman. "She is fine." Ms Cantoni, who works for aid agency Care International, was abducted on 16 May by gunmen who forced her out of her car in central Kabul. She has been in Afghanistan since September 2003, supporting more than 10,000 widows and their children. Hours before her release was announced, hundreds of schoolgirls in the Afghan capital, Kabul, handed out nearly 3,000 stickers calling for Ms Cantoni to be freed. No details about her release were immediately provided, reports BBC News. According to News 24, Cantoni, 32, who works for the aid group Care International, was snatched on May 16 while driving in downtown Kabul. Her abduction sent shockwaves through both the Afghan and foreign community in the Afghan capital. She had managed a project which provides food and income-generating activities for 11 000 widows and their children since September 2003. Afghan authorities said earlier that Cantoni was abducted by a criminal gang rather than by militants
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